Contentious Energy Bill Stalls in U.S. Senate

John Davis

The U.S. Senate has hit an impasse over a proposed energy bill that makes larger allowances for alternative energy, in particular, wind power, than previous energy bills.

This AP story from says Democrats had hopes for an early vote on the measure, but Republicans were against many of the measures in the omnibus bill:

The impasse over renewable fuels came as Democrats said they would seek nearly $13.7 billion in tax breaks to promote clean energy, biofuels, more fuel efficient vehicles and conservation.

Sen. Max BaucusThe Senate Finance Committee intends to discuss the tax plan on Tuesday, according to the committee chairman, Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont. The proposal would extend dozens of tax breaks, such the one for building wind turbines. It also would create incentives such as tax credits for technology to capture carbon dioxide – the leading greenhouse gas – from power plants.

But some senators argued the wind requirement in the bill would not be feasible in their areas:

Senators from the South said utilities in their states could not meet the 15 percent requirement because they lack the wind power and other renewable resources prominent elsewhere, especially the West.

Sen. Pete Domenici“I’m not impressed with wind being the national energy source for America,” said Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M., who led the opposition to the renewable fuels standard.

However, Sen. Jeff Bingaman, a New Mexico Democrat, argued southern states could make use of wood and other local resources to produce biofuels.

As you can see, it will most likely be a long, drawn-out fight.

Biodiesel, Ethanol, Government, Legislation, Wind